The 55th annual San Francisco International Film Festival began on April 19 and will run through May 3. The two week-long festival showcases nearly 200 films spanning from narrative feature films to animated shorts to theatrical documentaries.
During the festival, prestigious awards are given for cinematic excellence. This year, the Founder’s Directing Award—given in honor of SFIFF founder Irving M. Levin—was given to Kenneth Branagh. Judy Davis received the Peter J. Owens Award for brilliance and independence as an actress. The Kanbar Award was presented to David Webb Peoples for his excellence in screenwriting. Pierre Rissient was given the Mel Novikoff Award for enhancing the public’s appreciation of cinema. The Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award was presented to Barbara Kopple and the State of Cinema Address was given to Jonathan Lethem. Benh Zeitlin received the inaugural Graham Leggat Award in honor of former Executive Director Graham Leggat.
The festival is presented by the San Francisco Film Society, a nonprofit arts and education organization that encourages the evolution of film culture.